China Relaxes Decades-Long One-Child Policy

Friday, November 15, 2013

Women push babies in prams through a Beijing park during a public holiday on April 5, 2011 for the Qingming Festival, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty)

For decades, the family structure in China has been limited by the nation's one-child policy, which was established by the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to limit the country's population growth, which now sits at about 1.3 billion.

Families that break the one-child policy could face fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization can be accompanied by second or subsequent pregnancies.

But now men and women have more options when it comes to family structure: The Chinese news agency Xinhua announced yesterday that the nation will loosen its one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of the two parents is an only child.

Shirong Chen, Managing Editor at Foremost 4 Media Limited and former China Editor at BBC Global News, joins The Takeaway to explain the cultural and political significance of this shift in Chinese policy.

Guests:

Shirong Chen

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Ed from Larchmont

This is great. China is realizing that the one-child policy is leading to disaster. It's probably too late to solve the problem, but it's a move in the right direction. Could it be a result of the growth of Christianity in China?

Nov. 15 2013 09:17 AM
Ed from Larchmont

This is great. China is realizing that the one-child policy is leading to disaster. It's probably too late to solve the problem, but it's a move in the right direction. Could it be a result of the growth of Christianity in China?

Nov. 15 2013 09:16 AM

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